Deprescribing Newsletter #1: November 2013

Greetings and Happy Fall!

The Deprescribing team has been busy these past few months and we are excited to share key updates.


  • Research Ethics Boards approval to conduct the first phase of the study has been received!  With investigator affiliations at five universities/research institutes, this process took longer than expected but we are pleased to now have permission to move forward.
  • A survey of pharmacy, medicine and nursing experts to determine priorities for deprescribing guideline topics will be distributed across Canada shortly.
  • The first deprescribing guideline topic has been chosen: proton pump inhibitors (drugs used to treat or prevent severe heartburn and ulcers).  Members of a “Guideline Development Team” have been recruited and will meet in Ottawa in late November to begin work on the guideline.  Work will be supported by a Guideline Methods Committee and a partnership with the Bruyère Research Institute Methods Centre, which includes key members of the Cochrane Collaboration.  

Spreading the word!

  • September 18, 2013:  Dr. Kevin Pottie highlighted the Deprescribing guideline project at the GRADE Working Group meeting at the Cochrane Colloquium in Quebec City. The project was well received. It was felt to be aligned with recent public health GRADE methods, and aligned with the Overdiagnosis Movement. 
  • October 19, 2013: Dr. James Conklin participated in a panel discussion about Polypharmacy at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association on Gerontology in Halifax.  He spoke about the use of developmental evaluation as our research method to create “feedback loops” after each deprescribing guideline is developed and implemented.
  • November 12, 2013: Dr. Barb Farrell will present a poster describing the mixed methods evaluation of the deprescribing guideline development and implementation process at the  Annual Meeting of the North American Primary Care Research Group in Ottawa.
  • December 8, 2013: While on sabbatical, Dr. Lalitha Raman-Wilms will give a presentation about the mixed methods evaluation of the deprescribing guideline development and implementation process at the Australasian Pharmaceutical Science Association Conference in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Meet the Team!

Visit OPEN's website to view the full profile of our team:

Our investigators:
  • Dr. Barbara Farrell
  • Dr. James Conklin
  • Dr. Lalitha Ramans-Wilms
  • Dr. Kevin Pottie
  • Dr. Carlos Rojas-Fernandez
  • Dr. Pamela Eisener-Parsche
  • Dr. Lisa McCarthy
Our staff:
  • Hannah Irving (project manager, research associate)
  • Lisa Sunstrum (pharmacy co-op student)
  • Corey Tsang (pharmacy co-op student)
Our newest team members:
  • Welcome to Joy Rashid and Taline Boghossian, pharmacy residents from The Ottawa Hospital and Montfort Hospital in Ottawa.  Joy and Taline will each be working on systematic reviews as part of the deprescribing guideline development process.  Together with Hannah Irving, they’ll be attending a Cochrane Author Training Workshop in December.

Meet everyone else interested in deprescribing:

Currently we have over 130 people who have expressed interest in receiving deprescribing updates from all over the world! 

You might also be interested in:

  • Reeve E, To J, Hendrix I, Shakib S, Roberts M, Wiese M. Patient barriers to and enablers of depescribing: a systematic review. Drugs Aging 2013;30:793-807.
  • Farrell B, French Merkley V, Ingar N. Reducing pill burden and helping with medication awareness to improve adherence. Canadian Pharmacists Journal 2013;146(5):262-269.
  • Thompson W, Farrell B. Deprescribing: what is it and what does the evidence tell us? Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy 2013;66(3):201-202.
  • Farrell B, French Merkley V, Thompson W. Managing polypharmacy in a 77 year old woman with multiple prescribers. CMAJ 2013;185:1240-1245.

Keep in Touch

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